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As read by Dave Prentice, Public Sector International President, on Nov 30, 2012

On the occasion of the 29th PSI World Congress we express our horror over deaths of over 100 workers of the Tazreen Fashion factory in Bangladesh who were killed in a terrible workplace fire on November 24. We further express our deepest condolences to the families these victims.

These workers, most of whom were women, were burned to death when a fire ripped through their textile factory while they were trapped behind locked gates. Their workplace lacked the most basic safety features such as emergency exits, working fire extinguishers and proper evacuation training for workers.

If only this was an uncommon experience. Chronic safety problems and neglect often lead to fatal accidents in workplaces in Bangladesh and around the world.

International brands and corporate retail giants outsourcing and producing clothing in this factory are among the world’s richest and the most reluctant to invest in better working conditions, including the enforcement of lifesaving health and safety regulations. Anti-worker legislation and practices, further prevents workers in factories such as Tazreen Fashion from joining trade unions.

Let us stand in solidarity with these workers, and call on the government of Bangladesh to investigate this most recent occurrence and hold accountable the people responsible and deliver justice to the workers.

Laws to protect workers must be strengthened and enforced to prevent more senseless deaths.  International brands and retailers must provide significant compensation for victims and their families.

Let this strengthen our resolve to fight for these most precarious and exploited workers of the world.